Man Utd star Lindelof rejects Sweden call-up

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The Red Devils centre-back will not be part of the squad that faces Romania and Norway during the upcoming international break

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof rejected a call-up from Sweden for their European Championship qualifiers, citing “personal reasons” for his exit.

However, the 24-year-old Red Devils centre-back is reported to have backed out of the international set-up following after Alaves striker and Lindelof's best friend John Guidetti was left out of the two-dozen-strong squad.

The pair represented Janne Andersson’s side at last year’s World Cup in Russia, with both featuring during their run to the quarter-finals, including in their eventual elimination by England.

“It is of course sad that Victor left but I fully understand and respect his decision,” the coach said in a statement released by the nation’s governing body.

Lindelof has been replaced by MLS outfit New York City’s Anton Tinnerholm in the party for games against Romania and Norway.

The Man Utd star, who was a three-time Primeira Liga winner with Benfica before he made the move to Old Trafford in the summer of 2017, has never played domestically with Guidetti.

The pair however have struck up a friendship as mainstays of the international set-up in recent years, with the Football Channel reporting that Lindelof elected to drop out of the squad in solidarity with the omitted striker.

Veteran forwards Marcus Berg and Viktor Claesson were called up alongside the relatively inexperienced international pairing of Robin Quaison and Sebastian Andersson.

Teenager Alexander Isak was the other notable inclusion ahead of Guidetti and Bayer Leverkusen forward Isaac Kiese Thelin.

Sweden are currently ranked 14th in the world following their exploits in Russia last year and their subsequent campaign in the Nations League.

Lindelof has become a more established member of Man Utd’s side this season, starting 25 Premier League games and forming a key part of their revival under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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He has formed a strong partnership with Chris Smalling in central defence to help reignite their top four challenge in the top flight as well as their European aspirations in the Champions League.

Sweden host Romania in their first Euro 2020 qualifier on Saturday before traveling to Norway three days later.

Man Utd, meanwhile, do not return to action until after the international break when they face Watford in the Premier League.

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